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learn today that the outgoing pope benedict will be called -- what he will be called after he is pope and what life will be like for him, because afr all, remember, an abdicating pope is all new territory for the catholic church. nbc's anne thompson remains at the vatican for us tonight. anne, good evening. >> reporter: good evening, brian. they are already closing off the streets around st. peter's square in anticipation of the huge crowds for pope benedict's final audience tomorrow. the cardinals who will elect his successor have started to arrive, including controversial american cardinal roger mahoney, who is here despite calls for him to stay home because of his role in shielding sexually abusive priests in los angeles. these final days for benedict have been very difficult. he's seen a cardinal forced to resign, intense speculation over an internal investigation into leaked documents. but today the news was all about his new life. in retirement, he will be called pope emeritus. he will still wear white, just a simple cap and not the cape we're used to seeing. his red shoes will
breaking news out of the vatican where it was announced moments ago that pope benedict xvi will resign, he will resign effective february 28 of this year. nbc's bureau chief located in rome joins us on the phone. what can you it tell us? >> reporter: good morning, matt. yes, it came as a shock, of course, for all of us and are for the billions of catholics around the world. i mean, i just got confirmation of that news from the senior adviser who said that he made that speech, the pope made the speech in latin this morning, during a relatively small event, for the cannonization in the reswrr region of the south. he said he just doesn't have the strength anymore. this came as a shock because the pope has a right to resign. nobody has before him he especiy that it comes off john paul ii a man who at 85 wasn't even able to walk and neither speak really, was mumbling towards the end of his life. and pope benedict saying i just don't have it anymore. i don't have the strength anymore to bear my mission to carry on the catholic church. >> claudio, is there concern or is there some speculation tha
benedict. instead the world is seeing the darker side of the church, the in-fighting and scandals that today claimed britain's highest-ranking catholic. for scotland's cardinal o'brien, the end came with astonishing swiftness. today o'brien resigned and said he will not attend the conclave to elect a new pope. the first cardinal in history to stay away, because of a personal scandal. sunday, a british newspaper published accusations by three priests and a former priest that o'brien engaged in inappropriate behavior with them, going back to the 1980s. >> holy father accepted the resignation -- >> reporter: 24 hours later, pope benedict accepted o'brien's resignation as archbishop of saint andrews and edinborough. >> quite upsetting. >> the catholic church is in quite a bit of turmoil. >> reporter: o'brien denied the claims and said in a statement today, for any failures, i apologize to all whom i've offended. >> the one who handed me over to you -- >> reporter: just last week, o'brien spoke out about the american cardinal, mahoney under pressure to sit out the conclave because he s
the final blessing of pope benedict. the 100,000 people on hand got the blessing and heard the hope give more reasons. he told the crowd that god told thime live a life of more prayer and medication. the 85-year-old pontiff said god asked him to live his life with the same dedication but in a way more appropriate for his age and strength. >> gratitude, expression and prayer. >> very happy to hear that he is not going away from this and that he is going to be in prayer. i was moved to hear those words from him. >> i was very grateful y. have seen the pope before. now i am grateful to see the pope for the last time for now. >> reporter: this very joyous event played out against background of news scandal. headlines about priests accusing scottish cardinals of inappropriate behavior going back some 30 years. those priests and the former priests want cardinal o'brien to resign immediately before he comes here to vote for the new pope. a papal spokesperson says the pope will be informed about the matter and the vatican will issue a statement tomorrow morning. >>> pope benedict will make his l
benedict xvi, he has allowed the conclave to come together earlier than normal. they want to install the new pope before the holy week begins. that gives them to march 17th to complete the process and the process is complex. especially with the scandals surrounding the catholic church. today, one of the cardinals that will help select the new pope spoke in the bay area. >> a man of prayer, a man of faith. retired archbishop preparing to go to rome to choose the next pope. as he focuses on the need to the church, there are those that feel he should have a stronger stand against pedophile priests and those that protect them. >> the church needs to act in a responsible way. like any institution. just because of religion, just because they are a church, does not make them immune from reporting child abuse. >> tim lennon of snap survivors network said he was abused and raped by a priest when he was 13. he does not want father mahoney to be in the process to choose the new pope. >> for them, a sitting cardinal or a cardinal who is recently been asked to step out of any kind of public minis
and internet. rethink possible. >>> in just three days pope benedict xvi will formally resign and as he prepares to step assign 11 u.s. cardinals are preparing to vote for a new pope, among them a former san franciscoian cardinal. another representative who will be attend that go conclave. kris sanchez has more. >> reporter: at 13 tim says he was raped and abused by his parish priest. as cardinals head to rome to select the next pope, he does not want retired cardinal roger mahoney to be among them because of his role in shielding pedophile priests. >> those kind of officials, no matter what institution, should not be part of the process of any decision of the hierarchy. >> reporter: but cardinal mahoney of los angeles has said he would not recuse himself from the conclave and he has the support of former san francisco archbishop laveda who departs for the conclave himself tomorrow. >> he is the first one to have said and apologized for the error in judgment he made as a young bishop 0. >> reporter: saturday cardinal mahoney was deposed in a lawsuit out of l.a. alleging he helped cover
? >> all right, al. thank you. >>> now to rome and pope benedict's final days as leader of the catholic church. moments ago the vatican announced new details about the pope's life after he steps down. let's get to nbc's anne thompson at the vatican this morning. anne, good morning to you. >> reporter: good morning, savannah. we now know what pope benedict will be called once he retires. if you run into him, you address him as his holiness, pope benedict xvi, or roman pontiff emeritus. he won't wear the white cape you've seen him wear as pope. and then those shoes that he's so very fond of, well, they go. he will have to switch to brown shoes. we understand he'll wear a pair he was given on a trip to mexico. all of those details are coming out as the world gets a glimpse of the sometimes ugly gamesmanship that goes on in this beautiful setting. cardinal keith o'brien, briton's highest ranking catholic and its only vote in the upcoming papal conclave is staying away, accused of improper behavior with four young priests going back to the 1980s, detailed in a british newspaper sunday that o
on the first appearance from pope benedict xvi since his announcement that he's stepping down at the end of the month. good morning to you. >> reporter: good morning, matt. this is ash wednesday. it's usually a somber day in the catholic church. there's a celebratory air here in vatican city as the pope begins what some are calling his farewell tour. this morning, the public getting its first chance to express their appreciation for pope benedict since announcing his abdication. with the end of his papacy days away. a church famous for its rituals, vatican officials are working without a script as benedict moves into retirement. what are you going to call pope benedict once he steps down? >> i don't think he will be the pope emeritus. one of his other titles is the bishop of rome. he will probably be the americas bishop of rome. >> reporter: showed a flare for fashion, earning the nickname the prada pope. this monastery is being renovated for pope benedict. it will have a library for the scholarly man and his cats will accompany him. no word yet on whether there will be a piano as well.
filled st. peter's square for pope benedict's final blessing. four days he will step down as head of the catholic church. the vatican is dealing with new allegations today involving one of its cardinals. anne thompson has more. good morning. >> reporter: good morning, erica. it's a mixture of joy and intrigue here in vatican city. this morning catholics and the curious jammed st. peter's square to hear pope benedict's final blessing. this got not only a blessing but the pope also shed light on why he resigned. god had called him on the mountain to live a life of more prayer and meditation but he wasn't going to abandon the church. the 85-year-old pontiff said that god had had asked him to live this life with the same kind of dedication but to do so more in a way appropriate to his age and strength. now, this very joyous event took place against a background of scandal. there are new headlines in britain this morning, three priests and a former priest accused the scottish cardinal keith o'brien of inappropriate behavior going back some 30 years. they want cardinal o'brien to resign
forecast. eri erica. >>> pope benedict met italy's leader five days before he steps down. there is speculation about whether an american cardinal could replace him as pope. anne thompson has more from vatican city. good morning. >> reporter: good morning, erica. all kind of chatter at the vatican where pope benedict is back on the job after his week-long lenten retreat. he appointed new bishops italy and mexico as people here at the vatican are getting ready for what are expected to be huge crowds for its final two events. meanwhile ther meanwhile, there are many questions about this momentous occasion, like who will lead the church, that are still unanswered. a week before pope benedict retires and still no clear front-runner to succeed him. however, there is a long shot. new york's gregarious cardinal timothy dolan. >> i'll do anything to get you guys to church. >> reporter: praise in catholic circles for his efforts to revitalize the church and fighting obama administration con ra sepgs coverage mandate. this week he was depossessed about how he dealt with abusive prie
the vatican's plans to elect a new pope in the wake of pope benedict's surprise decision to retire at the end of the month. rich richard engel is live in the vatican city. >> reporter: it's an act of humility and encourage to make way for a younger man. 24 hours later there's still shock in the vatican city. >> shocked. disappointed. sad. >> reporter: this morning roman catholics, tourists, even some church officials wondered if this can be a moment to revitalize the church after pope benedict xvi's unexpected decision to step down. >> personally i didn't agree with a lot of the things he believed and prepared. >> this will bring change for the church. >> reporter: in making his announcement the 85-year-old pontiff who has been looking frail asked for forgiveness. i have to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfill the min nus stri entrusted to me he told a gathering of cardinals in latin saying his advanced age forced the decision. just hours later these images circulated around the world. these are unusual times for the vatican. the last time a pope abdicated under similar circumstances
of benedict's papacy, while scandal and intrigue engulf some of the men who will choose the next pope. even in his final days as pope, scandal continues to dog benedict's papacy and the church. italian newspapers headline rumors of blackmail and conspiracy that the vatican vehemently denies. american cardinal roger mahony has ignored calls to stay home from a conclthat chooses the next pope because of his role protecting abusive priests. scottish cardinal keith o'brien, who commented on mahony's situation last week. >> someone has erred and we have anoth another. >> reporter: today cardinal o'brien resigned after being accused by three priests and former priest of inappropriate behavior going back to the 1980s. ugly headlines that one vatican watcher says will shape the deliberations of the conclave. >> some of this is politics, but other parts of it are the long delayed, reckoning with problems that require facing and correcting in the church. >> reporter: the scandals have left many of the faithful weary. >> i'm a true believer and i hope that catholics will get a better name these days.
. pope benedict's successor, anne thompson is there with more. good morning, anne. >> reporter: good morning, natalie. the conclave to elect pope benedict's successor is scheduled to begin between march 15th and march 20g9, but there is talk it could be moved up because the karmds who will elect the new pope are coming here to rome to say good-bye to pope benedict february 28th. we should hear some word perhaps this week. asked who will succeed pope benedict the pope himself yesterday set off a flurry of speculation at his weekly blessing when he addressed the crowd in spanish, he asked them to pay praise for himself and the future pope. some wondered was he sending a secret signal that he would prefer to see a pope from latin america? i spoke to a vatican spokesman who said there was no secret signal, just the pope offering a prayer. >> anne thompson, thank you. >> nbc's white house correspondent kristen welker is in port st. lucie, traveling with the president. good morning. >> reporter: good morning, natalie. president obama heads home later today after a weekend of golf, includin
week we'll be live at the vatican as we have the final days of pope benedict, and we'll be there at the final public outing and take a look at what is next for the world's more than 1 billion catholics and who may be his successor. that's all next week on today. >> a lot of interesting stories there. we'll go back inside to natalie morales with a check of headlines. >> good morning, everyone. as many as 30 million americans are in the path of a major winter storm that brought snow and high winds to southern arizona on wednesday and forced the first ever suspension of mass play at the world golf championship. heavy snow is causing dangerous white out conditions in kansas and nebraska and hundreds of flights have been canceled. a stunning development today at the bail hearing for south after an olympic star oscar pistorius. prosecutors reveal the lead investigator in the murder case against pistorius is himself facing seven attempted murder charges over a police shooting in 2011. meantime nike said today it has suspended its contract with pistorius accused of gunning do
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